Tu B’Shvat,  Jerusalem Transitions

Tu B’Shvat, Jerusalem Transitions

This week was one of transition in Jerusalem, Israel.

It started with the funeral of a former Prime Minister.

image coffin Ariel Sharon, photo casket, picture casket draped in flag

The blue and white draped casket of Ariel Sharon was

surrounded by floral wreathes in the plaza of the Knesset.

The gates were opened allowing the public inside.

 As it got dark,

image memorial candles, picture candles spelling out name. photo Ariel sharon funeral

 the crowd lingered after the announced closing time.

image man in crowd holding Israel flag, photo Ariel sharon funeral, picture memorial Sharon

Holding an Israeli flag was a good way to get attention.

image Sharon memorial, picture Dore God at Knesset , photo Dore Gold

A few familiar faces were in the crowd.

image woman sad, photo woman at funeral sad face, picture mourning.

This woman insisted on lighting a candle and looked so sad.

image man funeral crowd, photo man at funeral, picture man sad face

While this man became very emotional after he saluted the casket.

What impressed me most was how different it was

  to the memorial of Yitzhak Shamir.

There was very little Jewish about this event.

image honor guard, photo Knesset at night, picture Sharon casket

The Knesset honor guard was in step when they changed shifts,

but no one was saying Tehilim, Psalms, out loud.

image flowers and memorial candles., photo memorial, picture candles Sharon at Knesset

Thousands of Jewish Ethiopians came to farewell Shamir.

Here a colorful wreath was on display from an Ethiopian church.

image Sharon memorial, picture memory candles spelling name, photo memorial candles

Outside at night, in winter, with memorial candles spelling Arik Sharon,

but there were no family members present to accept condolences.

Shamir’s memorial was run to the minute,

while this one dragged quietly into the night.

image Jerusalem street. photo Jerusalem traffic, picture traffic in Jerusalem

For two days traffic was a mess.

image blimp, photo Knesset in flowers, picture Knesset

A security blimp hovered over the Knesset.

Jerusalem was on high alert with dignitaries arriving from all over the world.

image burka, photo Palestinian abuse Israel, photo Muslim woman, picture Arab woman

Meanwhile, this woman sat in a park not far away,

 but that is a whole other blog post for Israellycool.

And then,

there was an amazing sunset,

image beautiful sunset, picture sky at sunset, photo impressive sunset

some of it seen here over the Israel Museum.

The 65 birthday of the Knesset was celebrated,

with the public invited to a slew of activities.

image protesters, photo African protests, picture African protesters with flags

The African protesters of last week went back to Tel Aviv.

The snow storm clean up will be going on for some time, 

but it was warm enough today to go without a coat.

image lemon tree, photo lemons on tree, picture lemons growing

The lemons are looking ready to pick.

image Tu BeShvat, photo Tu Bishvat, picture Tu Beshevat

Fancy fruit baskets are ready to deliver.

In the flower shop I was asked to take a date to eat 

in honor of Tu B’Shvat, The New Year for Trees.

The transition from the funeral at the beginning of the week,

can really be felt today 

image street art Jerusalem, photo Jerusalem written , picture Jerusalem

on the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Spring, renewal, rebirth are in the air.

Tu B’shvat is coming.

Yitzhak Shamir, 1915-2012

On Monday, July 2, 2012,

"picture Knesset", "photo Knesset", Image Knesset"

the large flag over the Knesset flew at half mast,

while this warning sign was posted in front of the building.

Yitzhak Shamir, the 7th Prime Minister of Israel, had died at age 96,

"image Shamir funeral", "photo Shamir funeral", "picture Shamir funeral"

  and his casket was lying in state in the main hall.

Getting into the Knesset Building is usually not easy.

"picture honor guard", "photo honor guard", "image honor guard"

But today the public was invited to pay their respects to the Shamir family,

as army rabbis stood and read Psalms.

"picture Meridor", "photo Dan Miridor", "image Dan Meridor"

Vice Premier Dan Meridor was one of the government officials present.

"photo memorial wreaths", "image flower wreath", Picture flower wreath"

At 4:00 pm, the floral wreaths surrounding the casket 

were removed

 and an honor guard lifted the casket.

"photo Shai Abramson", "image Shamir funeral", "picture singers"

IDF Chief Chazan Shai Abramson led the procession out of the hall

while chanting  Psalm 91.

The public was then ushered out of the Knesset Building.

In 1991, Prime Minister Shamir approved Operation Solomon

which brought over 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

On the day of his funeral, Ethiopian community leaders

were in the last group to leave the Knesset grounds.

The funeral procession went to Mount Herzl Cemetery for burial.

There was just enough time for some visitors to pose 

for a quick photo.

On the way in I had a “buggy” ride,

but on the way out everyone walked.

Most people walked away slowly.

Yitzhak Shamir  z’l  

     1915-2012